Abuja, 28/11/2022 (MAP) – The relations between Morocco and the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are based on deep cultural, spiritual and civilizational ties, said House of Advisors’ Speaker Enaam Mayara on Monday in Abuja.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the ECOWAS parliament’s second 2022 ordinary session, Mayara, who represented Morocco at this event, said that these relations are governed by the values of solidarity, mutual respect and common struggle for the consolidation of peace and stability.
In addition, « they do not date from today, Morocco has proven sub-Saharan extensions and has historically woven strong ties with the countries of the region, » he continued.
These historical relations have been supported by the visits made by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist him, in several ECOWAS countries, as well as those made by his brothers and friends in our country, he added.
These visits have been crowned by the conclusion and signing of several conventions and cooperation agreements in the framework of a partnership based on shared solidarity, co-development and renewed South-South cooperation, he said.
He also said that these agreements aim to achieve several joint projects of great economic and social significance in various sectors ranging from agriculture, infrastructure, finance, telecommunications, energy and mining and training of executives.
Morocco also maintains institutional relations with ECOWAS, which it enjoys an observer status since 2005, he noted, stressing that in this context, Morocco is already in action in favor of this strategic grouping which it feels part.
Regarding the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project, the memorandum of understanding was signed recently in Rabat, with ECOWAS and, in Nouakchott with Mauritania and Senegal, he recalled, saying that these steps are an essential milestone in the process of carrying out this project.
« During this period, our country has been honored to participate in several meetings of your august organization and to contribute to its activities. This dynamic highlights the crucial interest that Morocco gives to your countries, the African continent and South-South cooperation, » he said.
In this sense, the Moroccan official noted that economic diplomacy has become a credo in the face of the impacts of globalization on international relations and on national and regional economies in particular, insisting that « this is where South-South cooperation takes its full meaning. Cooperation and win-win relationships represent a new strategy to consolidate regional integration.
« The strengthening of economic and trade relations and the consolidation of investment between Morocco and ECOWAS countries are no longer the prerogative of speeches, but a concrete reality that we exercise every day, » he said, confirming that « similarly, for Morocco, South-South cooperation is no longer a mere slogan, but a compelling necessity, imposed by the acuteness and magnitude of the challenges facing our countries. »
« It is impossible to rely on traditional forms of cooperation, which are now unable to meet the growing needs of our peoples, themselves increasingly demanding, » he explained.
« This is why Morocco is committed to implementing concrete projects in productive sectors, vectors of growth and job creation, and directly impacting the lives of citizens. This reality is illustrated by the evolution and diversification of the partnerships that unite Morocco with a number of ECOWAS countries and that focus on human development and various social, economic and religious fields, » he said.
Several opportunities for economic complementarity exist between Morocco and ECOWAS countries in various promising sectors, said Mayara.
Beyond the traditional trade, sustainable links between companies and investors of Morocco and those of the ECOWAS region, are projects with high added value on both sides and form a solid and credible basis for the diversification of economic relations, he noted.
« Thus, in recent years, Morocco and the countries of the region are driven by a significant dynamic in infrastructure investment. Several mega-projects have emerged in land transport, ports and air, or energy, » he said.
« Another important area of cooperation between Morocco and ECOWAS countries is the security field, because as you know, peace is a prerequisite for any development, » he said.
« In this context, Morocco is driven by a genuine approach to cooperation and a spirit of sharing, given that the Moroccan approach in the security field is based on three inseparable pillars, namely security, human development and training, » he said.
He also stressed that « ECOWAS, due to its geostrategic position, is the most suitable space to face the challenges of security in the Sahel, because it has a multidimensional capital, allowing it to be the leader in the fight against terrorism and organized crime in the region.
On the subject of parliamentary diplomacy, Mayara said that « without doubt, it now plays an irrefutable role in strengthening cooperation and convergence of positions first on bilateral and regional issues, as well as in exploring ways to develop economic, trade and human relations, but also with the aim of investing promising opportunities in cooperation.
The House of Advisors of the Kingdom of Morocco has always ensured to strengthen its relations with the ECOWAS parliament, he highlighted.
In October 2017, the two institutions signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen the exceptional and historic friendship relations uniting our countries and peoples, he said, adding that the objectives of this agreement were consolidated through the signing of the « Laayoune Declaration », which crowned the important visit of the President of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Mohammed Tunis to Morocco, last February.
It is a declaration that revolves around the imperative of co-construction and close cooperation between our institution and the ECOWAS Parliament, he said, affirming that « in this way, we will take advantage of all opportunities offered to consolidate and deepen parliamentary cooperation between our two institutions.
This awareness is a guarantee of economic and trade relations between Morocco and ECOWAS countries, he said, stressing that « we will capitalize on mutual opportunities and we will exploit the added value of the parliamentary partnership between the House of Councillors and the ECOWAS Parliament.
Exchange of experiences and sharing of expertise in the areas of parliamentary action are the path we take now, especially on regional issues and topics of common interest, he added, saying that « this statement will undoubtedly expand the consultation between the two legislative institutions in the common interest of our brotherly and friendly countries.
The opening ceremony was marked by the participation of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, the President of ECOWAS, President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, the President of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Mohammed Tunis, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Aliou Touray, the President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, Edward Amoako Asante, and the President of the Pan-African Parliament, Fortune Charumbira.
On this occasion, Mr. Buhari and Mr. Sissoco Embaló received recognition awards from the President of the ECOWAS Parliament.